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CLEMSON – Rhondda Robinson Thomas has been named the new Calhoun Lemon Professor of Literature at Clemson University.
Thomas is an associate professor in the Department of English who specializes in early African-American and American Literature. A sixth-generation South Carolinian, she has served on the Clemson faculty for a decade.
Rhondda Robinson Thomas is the new Calhoun Lemon Professor of Literature.Image Credit: Clemson University Relations
“Dr. Thomas is superbly qualified to receive this honor endowed by C. Calhoun Lemon,” said Susanna Ashton, chair of the Department of English. “Along with her wide-ranging service to the department, Clemson University and the world beyond, she has an extensive record of publications and academic achievements. Through her determined research and advocacy, Thomas has become a leading force in public humanities scholarship.”
Thomas earned her Ph.D. in English at the University of Maryland, College Park, after completing undergraduate studies at Washington Adventist University in Maryland and master’s degrees in journalism at the University of Georgia and literature at the University of New Hampshire, Durham.
At Clemson University, Thomas has been an instrumental member of the Clemson History Implementation Team. Through tireless research, Thomas has helped assemble and share a more complete early history of the University and the land it was founded on, John C. Calhoun’s Fort Hill plantation. She has researched the African Americans who were enslaved there, those who continued to labor there after emancipation as sharecroppers and servants, convicts who constructed the original campus buildings, wage workers hired to work at Clemson, musicians who performed at social events for Clemson students prior to integration, and the students, faculty, and staff who came to Clemson during the first decade of integration.
Thomas won a 2018 Whiting Public Engagement Fellowship for “Black Clemson: From Enslavement to Integration,” an upcoming museum exhibition that will travel around the state of South Carolina.
In 2017, …